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  • 8GB Nook Colour launches this week to dampen Kindle’s Fire

    The current king of budget tablets, leading with a fiery software kick courtesy of Amazon, is the Kindle Fire. This 7-inch beauty has seen very little competition in the same price and hardware division, until now that is. Nook, the eternal runners up in the tablet wars will launch an 8GB tablet this week. The new 8GB Nook tablet will be released first in the US at an unspecified price. Here’s hoping that it’s at least US$50 cheaper than the US$200 Kindle Fire, else it’s potentially destined for the bargain bins. Budget colour tablets are a dime-a-dozen, but somehow Amazon has...

  • LG Optimus LTE Tag: Control your phone settings with NFC stickers

    There’s something going on over at LG. First the crazy looking Optimus Vu and now the innovative Optimus LTE Tag, announced yesterday, with its NFC stickers. Similar to Sony’s Smart Tags, LG’s Tag Plus system uses NFC tags/stickers to change your phone’s settings. For example, place a pre-defined NFC tag on your car’s dashboard and swipe it to launch your phone’s GPS and Bluetooth app. When you get to the office, swipe another tag to mute your phone and turn on Wi-Fi. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Evrythng: The company that wants to bring…everything online

    People have been promising us The Internet of Things for some time now (the term dates back all the way to 1999). But so far we don’t seem to have moved much further than TVs and domestic appliances. A UK and Switzerland-based company called Evrythng wants to change all that and take the Internet of Things to well...everything. The term essentially refers uniquely identifiable objects (things) and their virtual representations in an internet-like structure. As its name suggests, Evrythng has pretty grandiose ambitions. Its raison d’etre is written boldly across the front page of the site:...

  • If your Facebook store failed, don’t blame Facebook, blame yourself.

    I worryingly read a slew of articles over the weekend about the shuttering of numerous big-brand F-commerce sites. My issue with most of these closing is that few had good KVP (key value propositions) for the user and now the entire ecosystem is getting painted a very ugly colour. In light of Open Graph just coming onto the scene I’m surprised at these big brands’ quick plug-pulling behaviour. Let’s review history: be honest, most of these companies put up their websites (or some fraction thereof) on Facebook and gave no real reason for people to buy from it...

  • Have a killer app idea? Check out Apple’s new getting started guide

    You have ideas for killer apps all the time, but where do you begin? Apple’s new “Start Developing iOS Apps Today” guide will help you get your feet wet. Aimed at giving prospective developers an overview of what iOS developing is all about, the guide starts with an introduction and then goes on to explain which applications you need to install. To get you familiarised with the development environment, a simple tutorial shows you how to write the most basic rite of passage “Hello World” app. The guide then explains the main development workflow tool, Xcode and introduces you to...

  • Does a Like equal loyalty or ‘give me free stuff’?

    So you have a Facebook page and you have spent a great deal of time crafting the landing area on your page. You have had it specially designed and made it -- well, you have made it beautiful. Users begin engaging with your page and because it is so beautifully done, they start liking it and before you know it, you have gone from 0 likes to 1 000 likes. Excellent! Or is it? How loyal are those “likers” (lurkers) that have professed this love for your page and brand by extension? Are users liking brands on Facebook? The simple...

  • Pinterest: A beginner’s guide to pinning stuff

    Pinterest is the latest social media craze and seems to have the web all aflutter. It is currently the web's second fastest growing site -- of any kind, having gone past the ten-million user mark just a month after launching. This latest social media platform goes far beyond simply just sharing or liking things of interest. It allows users to collaborate on various projects or topics of interest. From creating a mood board for your home renovations to keeping tabs on the latest trends and things you just can’t live without -- Pinterest allows you to literally pin various items...

  • Gatfol: Google, Yahoo! and Bing are OK, we can make them better

    Search engines get you the results you want 80% of the time. That's according to a South African startup called Gatfol (pronounced Gat fole, not like the Afrikaans Gatvol) which will soon be launching its first product to help you get closer to 100%. Gatfol may seem like an odd name for a startup, but its US patented semantic search algorithm certainly isn’t. Rooted in natural language processing or NLP, the free Gatfol browser plug-in will attempt to optimise your search queries by making them as concise as possible. NLP, if you’re not familiar with the subject, is the field...

  • App of the Week – Clear

    This week I take a look at Clear, an amazing app that is setting the net on fire with its simple, unique approach to creating, using and interacting with lists. Being in the position that I am right now, writing this column every week for such an amazing site, I constantly strive to build my app of the week posts around apps that I know people will love as much as I do. I see it as a showcase for apps that have fascinated me and have added value to my daily life, whether it be a game, a news...

  • Why Mpesa is still a financial disruptor

    Farhad Manjoo makes a compelling argument for why the real winners of the payments revolution are the same players we already know, the credit card companies and the banks, in in an article entitled "Don’t mess with credit: Why the future of payments is already in your pocket." “Nearly every start-up working in payments is simply creating a new front end for your credit card. That’s not a small thing; we need new ways to use our credit cards. But we shouldn’t forget the true winners in this new marketplace—whatever innovations we see in payments over the next few years,...

  • Chinese court orders halt on iPad sales

    Apple has been ordered to stop selling iPads in Huizhou, a city in southern China. This after a court ruled that sales of the device by local manufacturers violated the rights of Proview -- a manufacturer engaged in an increasingly wide-ranging dispute with the tech giant. According to the Associated Press, Proview has asked regulators to seize iPads and may demand a pay-out from Apple. The dispute arose after Proview claimed that it held the rights to the iPad name, and has been an ongoing source of friction between the two companies since 2010. According to TheNextWeb, the company...

  • Video: Nokia 700

    Another tiny Nokia is unleashed into the hands of the unsuspecting public. The Nokia 700 is small, powerful and packed with features. But, is it worth your money? It's an in-between phone. A phone which straddles the line between feature phone and smartphone and for my money, I'd leave it in the box it came in. Can the light, beautiful build of the Nokia 700 make up for the various flaws? Or is Nokia once again walking into one of Steven Norris' "patented" reviews from tech-hell? View the video and decide for yourself. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Google brings Foursquare-style check-ins to Latitude

    Hidden in Google’s most recent update to its Maps for Android app is a new gamified element to its location-based check-in service Latitude which suggests it could be chasing down the likes of Foursquare. People who use Latitude can now be ranked through a feature called Latitude Leaderboards. Whenever a user checks in to a location, a small leaderboard appears, their points are tallied and added to their overall score. The internet giant slipped out the update without much in the way of an announcement. In fact, the only acknowledgement it has given to the existence of Latitude Leaderboards is...

  • Aakash-II set for 2012 release

    Remember the Aakash, the “world’s cheapest tablet”? It’s inching ever closer to a worldwide release date thanks to new developers C-DAC and ITI jumping in to take over where Datawind Ltd, previous manufacturers of the Aakash, failed. An improved version of the Aakash, or the UbiSlate is set to release at a cost of US$50, slightly steeper than the previous US$35 model. Indian Telecom and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal is proud to present a “truly Indian product” and says, “There have been some problems with Datawind I must confess. Therefore, I have got into the act. IT Ministry has got...

  • Record-breaking Levi century trends globally

    South African cricketer Richard Levi became a globally trending topic on Twitter after hitting a record number of sixes in his country's second T20 International against New Zealand. The young batsman made 117 off just 51 balls, helping his side cruise past New Zealand’s total of 173 in 16 overs. Levi’s knock included 13 sixes and five fours. It was only his second international innings after making his debut in the first T20 International in New Zealand's capital Wellington a couple of days ago. Most of the tweets registered astonishment at the nature of Levi’s innings as people became...